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About 5 years ago I purchased a new Snapper SPX riding mower that is equipped with a B & S Professional Series 23 hp engine. Every year I have changed oil, spark plugs, fuel filter and air filter. I only run ethanol free gas in the mower as well. During the past year the mower is having a hard time starting almost like its is flooding out when trying to start. I have to crank the engine for long periods and some times have to let it set and come back to try and start again. Once it starts the engine runs just like new and have no issues. I recently changed the fuel pump as I though this would take care of the starting issues but it has not done so. I live in Florida so mowing for me is usually once per week and some winter months may to go once every two weeks so the the mower does not sit for long periods of time. Any idea of what would be causing this issue?
 

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Not always, see if you can verify the choke closed on cold start ,you might watch the linkage ,or visually see the plate.is closed cold.
 
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